STOKER, Henry Hew Gordon Dacre [Commander]. Straws in the Wind. London, Herbert Jenkins, .
8vo. Original green cloth, ruled and lettered in black; pp. 315, [4, advertisements], plates after photographs; light rubbing to extremities, offsetting from endpapers; otherwise a very good copy.
First edition, signed presentation copy of the uncommon autobiographical record of one of the most influential naval adventurous disasters of the First World War, experienced and written by Bram Stoker's nephew, naval commander and actor. 'By late 1913 he [Stoker] was senior submarine officer in command of the flotilla at Gibraltar and was chosen to command AE2, one of two submarines built at Barrow in Furness for the newly formed Royal Australian Navy … Stoker in his flamboyant style immediately talked the Australian defence minister into sending the AE2 to assist in the European war … It had been Stoker's intention to sail to Constantinople' (ODNB). After technical failures and pursuit by the Ottoman Navy in the Sea of Marmara AE2 came close to surrender. 'Stoker again attempted to dive, but AE2 was still out of control and began to plunge into the depths. Stoker's emergency action arrested the descent, but now AE2 surged back to the surface, where shells holed it in several places. The submarine was scuttled; all its crew were taken prisoner and spent more than three years in captivity. Stoker escaped twice but was recaptured and endured considerable hardship in Turkish prisons (ibid). 'In June 1998 Mr Selçuk Kolay, director of the Rahmi Koç Museum in Istanbul, discovered AE2’s wreck lying in 72 metres of water. Discussions concerning the long term preservation of AE2 continue between Australian and Turkish [authorities]' (https://www.navy.gov.au).
Provenance: Cordially inscribed and signed by Stoker, dated Christmas 1928 on front fly leaf to the auhtor's fellow thespian Ivonne ('Ivona') Arnaud, French-born pianist, singer and actress. The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford is named in her honour. - Later pictorial bookplate of Humphrey Harlow inside front cover.